Oh, She Glows
School is not real life. Sometimes, we are tricked into thinking so; we move away to a new city and take on adult responsibilities like riding the subway in rush hour or buying toilet paper, but in reality we’re still a bunch of big kids. We have so many people looking after us, going through the steps, and the bigger picture gets a bit lost. Maybe it’s different in other schools and other countries, but it feels that only until you’re about to graduate that you really start thinking “OK I took all these courses, but what can jobs can I actually do?”. As a journalism student, I do have a certain privilege in this sense, as our program is very much hands on and that I’ve been able to actually DO journalism during my 3+ years, and not just read about it in an overpriced textbook.
Entering our final year we were given three choices; work for the on-campus magazine, take on an independent project, or find an internship. It was probably in second year, or perhaps even earlier, that I decided an internship would be my best fit. I’ve always liked school, and on a good day, I like my program, but to be honest, being on campus surrounded by people my exact age doing the exact same thing with the same aspirations as me, can be almost…draining. I’ve always been one to have older friends, friends in other cities and other countries, and generally prefer to keep my academics separate from my social life. The chance to spend six weeks off campus in a working office full of actual adults really was a no brainer.
When it came down to it, I found my place at Glow, a Canadian beauty magazine based in downtown Toronto. In the journalism world, Magazines are kind of like the glamorous great aunt who stops by at family gatherings, usually bringing gifts from her international travels. She always smells strongly of perfume, but otherwise, her life remains a complete mystery. The offices are prettier, the cubicles are prettier, and even the people are prettier. Magazines are a lot of work, but unlike a daily paper, we’re allowed the time to go over every little detail. Pages are passed around to each editor, and then passed around again, and once more for good measure. There are stressful days sure, but overall it’s a very fun and relaxed working environment. For thirty days the editors sit at their desks, puttering away at articles, blog posts, layouts, and emails. It’s actually usually emails. When the thirty days are up, a beautiful magazine appears at my desk, and although I know we put in all the work, it still feels like it fell from the sky. The editorial team does their bit, and the art team does theirs. Then, there are the photographers, stylists, contributing writers, social media managers, and advertising. With so many behind the scene components that go into a beauty magazine- and probably any other magazine- it’s nearly in possible for one person to always be in the know.
The real beauty of working at Glow (see what I did there) is that we’re always two steps ahead. So while summer may just be ending, I’m already thinking about next year’s spring beauty trends. For example, the research I did on the 2017 Spring/Summer Fashion Weeks will continue to be used for publications in March and beyond. So while I was only at Glow a short period of time, my work lives on for much longer. It really is fabulously mysterious, isn’t it?